The San Francisco Scene

The San Francisco Scene

What's included

  • All tab
  • Chords
  • Chart
  • Guitar pro files


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This set of lessons features some of the greatest bands and artists based in Northern California during the Summer Of Love - 1967.

1.It's A Beautiful Day - Girl With No Eyes
2. It's A Beautiful Day - White Bird
3. Jefferson Airplane - Comin’ Back To Me
4. Jefferson Airplane - Somebody To Love
5. Jesse Colin Young - Song For Juli
6. Lovin' Spoonful - Coconut Grove
7. Lovin' Spoonful - Daydream
8. Lovin' Spoonful - Do You Believe In Magic?
9. Scott McKenzie - San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)
10. Spirit - Nature's Way
11. The Youngbloods - Sunlight


  • Lesson 1: Coconut Grove - Lovin' Spoonful - Guitar Lesson

    John Sebastian and Zal Yavonsky penned and recorded some great tunes in the mid-sixties as the leaders of The Lovin’ Spoonful. With Coconut Grove they tapped into the laid-back style of Fred Neil and came up with a jazzy, breezy song that is very easy and fun to play.

    This lesson starts as an ear-training exercise and the only attachment is a lyrics page. I suggest making some notes and writing your own chart.

  • Lesson 2: Girl With No Eyes

    It's A Beautiful Day released their debut album in 1969. It included White Bird, as well as the haunting Girl With No Eyes, written by the husband and wife team of David and Linda LaFlamme. It featured David's violin and vocals, along with Pattie Santos harmonizing.

    This lesson starts with a relatively easy way of strumming through the chord progression to accompany the vocals, but also includes many of the instrumental parts arranged for guitar, which significantly adds to the degree of difficulty. Regardless, students of all levels will find something interesting and challenging here. It even includes a complete solo Play Through by Neil.

  • Lesson 3: Comin’ Back To Me - Guitar Lesson

    Surrealistic Pillow, released in 1967, featured two big hits by The Jefferson Airplane, White Rabbit and Somebody To Love, along with Jorma Kaukonen’s iconic guitar piece Embryonic Journey.

    There were a few other classic psychedelic tunes, including Marty Balin’s Comin’ Back To Me. It features very simple fingerpicking with just a few chord shapes. The lesson is done without tab, hoping you can get it from watching and listening.

  • Lesson 4: Somebody To Love

    The Jefferson Airplane was one of the leaders of the San Francisco music movement in the 1960s. Grace Slick started her days in San Francisco with The Great Society but moved to the Airplane after their first album in 1966. She brought with her a couple songs that would launch them to stardom. Somebody To Love was written by her brother-in-law, Darby Slick.  The song is in the Dorian mode, using chords from the key of E major but centered around F#m.

    This lesson goes over the chord progressions to three parts, the strumming, and includes great detail about the way each chorus had different endings. There is also info on playing in an easier way using a capo at the second fret.

  • Lesson 5: Song For Juli

    Aside from a career with The Youngbloods, Jesse Colin Young put out some great solo albums. His 1973 album Song For Juli included Ridgetop, Morning Sun, Miss Hesitation, along with the title song, written with his wife Suzi, to their daughter Julia.

    The song opens with a beautiful fingerpicked intro, which is really the whole progression played one time through. That is followed by some jazzy solos featuring the piano then a flute, before settling into a short vocal verse.

    This lesson covers the intro, which has a lot of flexibility as far as the notes go. It does not have to be exactly like the original studio recording but there are some important reference points and techniques. Jesse does not keep a steady alternating bass pattern going. It is usually a mono bass pattern, meaning repeating the same note more than alternating. This could be difficult for students who are already proficient in alternating.

  • Lesson 6: White Bird

    The first album by the San Francisco based band, It's A Beautiful Day, included the FM hit White Bird. The song featured David LaFlamme's vocals and multiple violin parts, along with Pattie Santos harmony vocals. Neil plays a solo guitar version, incorporating many different parts, which will be a lesson soon.

    This lesson mostly focuses on playing the chords with a percussive approach, or just strumming them, to back up the vocals. There is also a segment on the intro, where the guitar combines a bass line with the opening pizzicato violin part.

  • Lesson 7: Daydream - Lovin’ Spoonful - Guitar Lesson

    The New York music scene in the 1960s was a little different that the west coast scenes. Folk music was more the order of the day.

    The Lovin’ Spoonful were one of the prominent group of the the era, led by songwriter/guitarist John Sebastian.

    Daydream features a simple progression that uses important muting techniques by both hands. This lesson walks you through the progression with specific emphasis on the muting techniques.

  • Lesson 8: Do You Believe In Magic? - Lovin Spoonful - Guitar Lesson

    The first hit for The Lovin’ Spoonful was John Sebastian’s Do You Believe In Magic. It features a simple chord progression in the key of C, loosley based on Heat Wave by Martha And The Vandellas, and a very catchy melody.

    The lesson also takes a look at the short guitar solo.

  • Lesson 9: San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) - Scott McKenzie - Guitar Lesson

    San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) is an American pop music song, written by John Philips of The Mamas & The Papas and sung by Scott McKenzie.

    The song is in the key of G, using the I, IV, V and VI, and changes to the key of A at the end. Even though the arrangement is easy, the student needs to be able to play barre chords from both the E and A families.

    The strumming is simple, should be done randomly and changes from the speed of 8th’s to the speed of 16th’s back and forth.

    The lesson takes a look at how to dress up the playing by for example adding bounces into the strumming to give it a rhythmic feel. Copying the bass player for the last part of the song is also a nice addition to ones playing.

  • Lesson 10: Sunlight - Guitar Lesson

    Jesse Colin Young’s band from the late 1960s came up with some great tunes, although probably none better than Sunlight. A jazzy progression and laid-back feel, combined with Jesse’s beautiful vocal performance to make this a song for the ages. This lesson goes over the chord progression and a couple of different strumming approaches, as well as a few tasty fills originally done by the lead guitar.

  • Lesson 11: Nature's Way - Guitar Lesson

    Nature’s Way is a classic from the band Spirit, led by guitarist Randy California. It is from their fourth album, Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus and features almost minimalist style guitar playing with a mix of steady bass notes and accented chords. The lesson covers syncopation and how to understand musical directions (i.e. DC al Coda) as well.